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Weekly Market Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What Stocks Fell Late Last Week (It Wasn’t China)
  • Weekly Market Preview
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet (Important Reports This Week)

Futures and global markets are moderately higher following positive reports on U.S./China trade and the potential for economic stimulus in the EU.

Reuters and Axios both had positive U.S./China trade articles this morning, with Axios reporting Trump & Chinese President Xi may meet in mid-March in Florida.  That’s particularly notable because it’s assumed the two leader’s won’t meet until a trade deal is effectively done.  So, if the report proves to be true, there’s an end in sight which is an incremental positive.

There were also numerous reports that the ECB is considering re-introducing TLTROs (a type of cheap loan to spur economic activity) to combat slowing EU growth.

Today there are no economic reports or Fed speakers so I’d expect a generally quiet trading day unless we get surprise political (possible government shutdown Friday) or geo-political (more U.S./China trade) headlines.

Why The Reserve Bank of India Matters to You

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • U.S./China Trade Update – Nothing Has Changed (And That’s Good)
  • Why the Reserve Bank of India Matters to You (And Your Clients)

Futures are modestly lower on momentum from Thursday’s declines following mixed economic data overnight.

German exports beat estimates and rose 1.5% vs (E) -0.3%, finally giving the EU a good economic data point.  But, Japanese Household Spending rose 0.1% vs. (E) 1.0% so the economic news wasn’t all good.

There was no notable geo-political or trade related news overnight and given there are no economic reports today, and only one Fed speaker (Daly at 1:15 p.m. ET), focus will remain on any new U.S./China trade headlines.  That could lead to some more volatility, but as long as Mnuchin and Lighthizer are going to China next week (which it appears they still are) then we’re still getting progress on a U.S./China trade deal.

Sectors to Buy If This is A ’15/’16 Repeat

Today’s Report is attached as a PDF.

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What Sectors to Buy If This Is a ‘15/’16 Repeat
  • Why Are Global Central Banks Turning Dovish? (And Is It A Good Thing?)
  • What’s Next for Oil

Futures are moderately weaker as concerns about global growth rise following more weak EU economic data.

German Industrial Production badly missed estimates, falling –0.4% vs. (E) 0.8%, while the European Commission cut 2019 expected EU GDP to 1.3% from 1.9%.

The Reserve Bank of India surprisingly cut rates over night and is now the second large central bank to give markets a dovish surprise (after the RBA on Wednesday).

Today focus will remain on economic data and Fed speak, as we get Jobless Claims (E: 223K), Consumer Credit ($17.5B) and comments by dovish Fed Governor Bullard at 7:30 p.m. ET.  If the news is generally dollar bullish and we see a further rise in the dollar, that might weigh on stocks more as a weaker dollar is needed to help boost corporate earnings going forward.

Repeat of 2015/2016?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Is this a Repeat of 2015/2016?

Futures are slightly lower as Trump’s SOTU was a non-event for markets while growth concerns continue in the wake of soft data o/n and earnings were mixed since yesterday’s close.

German Manufacturers’ Orders fell –7.0% y/y in December from –3.4% in November, the lowest reading since 2012, which is weighing modestly on EU shares in morning trade.

Looking ahead to today’s Wall Street session we are likely to see more digestion as there are limited catalysts.

There are two, second-tiered economic reports due out: International Trade (-$53.9B) and Productivity and Costs (E: 1.6%, 1.7%) while on the Fed front, Powell is scheduled to speak after the close (7:00 p.m. ET) but his remarks will be watched closely and could move markets after hours tonight.

Lastly, earnings season is winding down but there are still a few notables to watch today: GM ($1.21) and FDC ($0.37) before the open and CMG ($1.19) after the close.

What’s Next for Markets

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why We Still Think Stocks Are in a Trading Range (And We’re Near the Top)
  • Two Indicators That Would Make Us More Bullish on Stocks (In the Currency & Bond Section)
  • Weekly Market Preview
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet

Futures are flat following a very quiet weekend of no incremental news (the weekend news flow was similar to the scoring in the first half of the super bowl).

The only notable economic report was Chinese Service PMI which met expectations at 53.6 vs. (E) 53.9.  But, the composite PMI still dropped to 50.9 vs. the previous 52.2 so there are still legitimate reasons to worry about Chinese, and global, economic growth.

Today there are no notable economic reports and the only notable earnings report comes after the close (GOOGL ($11.08)) so I’d expect a generally quiet trading day as investors digest the recent rally/news.

U.S./China Trade Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • U.S./China Trade Update (What’s Expected Now and What It Means for Markets)

Futures are slightly lower as disappointing economic data offset U.S./China trade optimism.

Worries about global growth persist as the Caixin Chinese Manufacturing PMI fell to 48.3 vs. (E) 49.7 while European data wasn’t much better. The British Manufacturing PMI fell to 52.8 vs. (E) 53.5 while the EU reading was 50.5.

Today focus will be on the jobs report but the ultra-dovish Fed has taken some of the impact away from this report, because it’ll have to be incredibly strong to make the Fed skew more hawkish.  Expectations are: Jobs Adds of 158K, Unemployment of 3.9%,  M/M Wage gains of 0.3%.

In some ways, the ISM Manufacturing Index (E: 54.0) is the more important number today because if that’s a soft number, it’ll fan fears the Fed is reacting to a U.S. economy that’s losing momentum, so that’s the number I’m watching closely today.

Pre-Fed Technical Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Pre-Fed Technical Update: Levels to Watch
  • Why Did Tech Lag so Badly Yesterday?

Futures are drifting modestly higher this morning as investors focus on the Fed, U.S.-China trade talks, and earnings.

News flows were slow overnight although the well-received AAPL earnings from late yesterday are helping US futures rally.

Today, primary focus will be on the Fed with the FOMC Meeting Announcement at 2:00 p.m. ET followed by Chair Powell’s press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

There are two economic reports due out this morning: ADP Employment Report (E: 174K) and Pending Home Sales (E: 0.3%). The former will be closely watched but it is unlikely we see any sort of material move in markets ahead of the Fed.

Earnings season is reaching its peak so there are a slew of reports to watch today with: BABA ($1.65), BA ($4.52), T ($0.85) before the open and FB ($2.17), MSFT ($1.09), TSLA ($2.15), V ($1.25), and QCOM ($1.09) all due to report after the close.

Again, earnings and data will be followed today and ultimately will be digested by the market accordingly, but the Fed this afternoon will be the major focus and whether or not the outcome of the meeting is as dovish as recent Fed commentary has been will decide whether the S&P breaks higher towards 2700 or retests initial, key support at 2600.

Positive News on the U.S. Consumer (Good for Stocks)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Positive Commentary on the U.S. Consumer (From Someone Who Should Know)
  • EIA and Weekly Oil Analysis

Futures are moderately higher thanks to a dovish Fed article in the WSJ and more solid earnings (SBUX).

The WSJ reported that Fed officials are considering ending their balance sheet reduction earlier than expected, and that’s helped lift futures.

Economic data underwhelmed again as the German IFO Business Expectations Survey declined to 94.2 vs. (E) 97.0.

Today there are no economic reports (Durable Goods & New Home Sales won’t be produced because of the shutdown) and the earnings calendar is relatively quiet (ABBV ($1.92) and CL ($0.73) are two names we’re watching), so focus will likely remain on political headlines as there finally appears to be hints of progress at resolving this government shutdown (although the solution may only last three weeks).  If we get any positive news on the shutdown, that’ll likely add to the early rally.

A Sector With Relative Clarity (and Opportunity)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • A Sector With Relative Clarity (and Opportunity)

Futures are slightly higher as momentum from yesterday’s positive earnings offset more disappointing economic data.

January flash PMIs in Japan and the EU were disappointing.  The Japanese manufacturing PMI fell to 50.0 vs. (E) 52.4 while the EU Composite PMI dropped to 50.7 vs. (E) 51.4.  But, markets haven’t traded off Japanese data in over a year, and the “Yellow Vest” disruptions are weighing on French PMIs, which dragged the composite EU PMI lower, so these disappointing numbers aren’t weighing on markets as much as they normally would.

Today the big number is the U.S. Flash Composite PMI (E: 54.2), as markets are looking for more signs of economic stabilization following the loss of momentum in December.  Anything that implies stabilization will be stock positive.

We also have an ECB Rate Decision (E: No Change to Rates) and the ECB Press Conference (8:30 a.m. ET) and the key will be whether ECB President Draghi is very dovish given more disappointing economic data (he’s not expected to be materially dovish).

Finally, earnings continue and generally the season, so far, has been better than expected.  Some results we’re watching today include: INTC ($1.22), NSC ($2.30), SBUX ($0.65), WDC ($1.50).

Dow Theory Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Dow Theory Update
  • Existing Home Sales Analysis

US futures are bouncing modestly as yesterday’s spike in volatility is digested while major averages in Europe and Asia were little changed during a quiet night of trade.

Economically, Japanese Trade figures from December missed expectations adding pressure to the Nikkei o/n.

Today, there are two economic reports due to be released in the US. First the FHFA House Price Index (E: 0.3%) which is generally not very closely watched but after yesterday’s soft Existing Home Sales report, it may get some attention today.

The other report is the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index (E: -3.0). Again, not usually a very widely followed report but after the string of soft regional Fed survey reports last month, another big miss could add downward pressure on an already fragile market today.

There are no Fed officials speaking today which leaves earnings as the other major focus with: PG ($1.21), UTX ($1.51), and SYF ($0.93) reporting ahead of the bell and F ($0.30) after the close.

Lastly, the market will remain sensitive to any developments on relations between the U.S. and China as trade headlines and growth concerns were largely viewed as the reason behind yesterday’s heavy price action.